Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Another Manga Classics of another amazing classic novel! After reading Pride and Prejudice, I just needed to read other adaptations that this series included. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a tragic novel and I was curious to see how it would work out. As it turned out, there wasn't any reason for me to worry, as the manga did justice to this touching story.
The adaptation of this novel was as good as the one in Pride and Prejudice. Every important scene was included, giving us the chance to witness not only the progression of the story, but the changes in the characters as well. Sometimes the dialogues felt less heavy than in the actual novel, but this fact made it easier to get through, so I wouldn't say that it bothered me. I also thought that some of the dialogue was transformed in a way that would be easier for the modern reader to digest. So, even if someone hasn't read the original novel would be drawn to the story. Of course, if you are a purist you may find this disturbing.
Judging only from the cover I suspected that the illustration would be beautiful. And I was absolutely right! The faces of the protagonists were so expressive that even without reading the dialogue I could guess what they were thinking. The expression Hester had on her face when she was holding baby Pearl, during her public shaming, was astounding. The angry and defensive face transformed into a tender one, just by looking at her baby. The change on Arthur's face, the husband of Hesther, from the beginning of the novel, also showed what he felt and how his need for vengeance transformed him into a different and malicious man, a fiend as he called himself. Baby Pearl was just so cute, and even a little older she was cute as well, with those big innocent eyes and the bright smile. Another aspect that I really loved about the illustration was the letter A. Most of the the manga are black and white, but in this one the A was always painted red. This not only underlined the letter that gave its name to the novel, but also stood as a constant reminder of the significance it had on the lives of the protagonists.
The Scarlet Letter confirmed what I thought about Manga Classics and now I seriously need to find and read any other adaptations there are in the series. If you are an old fan of the classic novel, or a new reader, I believe you will enjoy greatly this version. It's a different take on the story, but without losing any of it's essence.